Petersen Automotive Museum

Eye-catching steel ribbons illuminate the epicenter of LA’s Miracle Mile.

The new cultural center of Los Angeles becomes a landmark of change and revitalization as the Petersen Automotive Museum underwent a three phase renovation led by a sculptural concept that inspires movement and transformation.

The face-lift remodel at the busy intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax Boulevards suspends structural steel outriggers from corrugated metal walls to hold a series of metal “ribbons” made out of stainless steel — inspired by the form of a car. The ribbons evoke movement, fluidity and a sense of speed, and are illuminated by a combination of fixtures from the street level to roofs edge that meet the cities light pollution and dark sky limitations. HLB programmed 16 different “light” shows or “moods” which glow high above famed Miracle Mile — signaling the starting line of “Museum Row”.

HLB’s scope of work included the expansive exterior facade, associated exterior entries, and exterior gathering spaces. The stainless steel ribbons were lit from behind to compliment the building’s new fluid organic form. Love it or hate it, the newly transformed Petersen Automotive Museum “shifts gears” into a new age for car enthusiasts and revs up its engine into a new era for the 53 year old building.

Project Highlights

• Light fixtures span 522 feet in the air
• Meets stringent light pollution & dark sky limitations


• Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (Design Architect)
• House & Robertson Architects (Executive Architect)


Project Background

• 204,000 square feet
• $27 million

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